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An Oblique View of Abedin Is One of MESSENGER’s Final Scenes

The possibly-volcanic crater Adedin on Mercury by MESSENGER. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The possibly-volcanic crater Adedin on Mercury by MESSENGER. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The 72-mile (116-km) -wide crater Adedin is seen at an oblique angle in this mosaic made from images acquired by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft. The angle highlights the crater’s central peak complex which surrounds a shallow depression that could have a volcanic origin, as well as fine cracks in the floor of its basin and a slumped and terraced section of its far wall. The crater was named after the Bangladeshi painter Zainul Abedin (1914-1976).

And I suggest you enjoy it – it will be one of the last images we see from MESSENGER!

Launched on August 3, 2004, MESSENGER entered orbit around Mercury in March 2011 and has been investigating the innermost planet for the past four years. But it’s exhausted its fuel and is now running on fumes – literally – and will soon no longer be able to make powered adjustments to maintain its orbit.

MESSENGER is expected to descend to the planet’s surface next week, impacting on April 30 at around 3:25 p.m. EDT.

This means that any images acquired over the next week – including the ones below – are some of the last we will ever get from MESSENGER.

A small portion of the interior of Scarlatti basin, imaged at an incredible 2.8 meters (9 feet) per pixel. The entire image is about 1.4km (0.9 mile) across.

A small portion of the interior of Scarlatti basin, imaged on April 22, 2015 at an incredible 2.8 meters (9 feet) per pixel. The entire image is about 1.4km (0.9 mile) across.

Secondary impact cratering creates complex surface patterns in this image acquired by MESSENGER on April 16, 2015.

Secondary impact cratering creates complex surface patterns in this image acquired by MESSENGER on April 16, 2015.

This 1.1m/pixel image of Mercury is one of MESSENGER's closest ever acquired, on April 23, 2015.

This 1.1m/pixel image of Mercury is one of MESSENGER’s closest ever acquired, on April 23, 2015.

Sadly it will be the undeniable end of the MESSENGER mission, but the over ten terabytes of data acquired by the spacecraft will be used by scientists for many years to come. MESSENGER was a highly successful mission, both for the spacecraft and for its ingenious engineers here on Earth, and it revealed many of Mercury’s best-kept secrets… which, ultimately, are clues to how our entire Solar System works.

Read more in my article on Universe Today.

Source: MESSENGER website

Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on April 23, 2015, in Mercury and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Poor Messanger…Very sad to know it’s out of fuel.

    Like

  2. Bye Bye Messenger. You did done a good job 🙂
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  1. Pingback: Allgemeines Live-Blog ab dem 26. April 2015 | Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

  2. Pingback: La sonda Messenger manda una de sus últimas imágenes antes de estrellarse contra Mercurio | milesdemillones

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